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Fraud

Is Flats Chicago practicing review fraud?

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YoChicago has zero tolerance for the comment fraud and review fraud that some inept landlords and rental services seem to find attractive. Our Privacy policy provides that you expressly waive its protections if you engage in deceit on behalf of a business in our comments. On April 14 a commenter with the screen name of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 21, 2014

Apartment rental fraud made easy?

stubs4less

Low income or lack of employment keeping you from qualifying for the apartment you want? Not a problem. If you scan Craigslist apartment for rent ads you’ll encounter offers to supply you with fraudulent paycheck stubs and employment verifications. All you need is to be dumb enough to believe that a company in the business ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 27, 2014

Never send a nickel to a Craigslist poster

Craig Newmark

Craigslist posters often scrape photos from Realtor listings and use them to enhance the credibility of fraudulent offers. The most common form of fraud is rental service agents advertising listings with which they have no connection, and then advising respondents that the property has been rented but that they have many similar offerings to show ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 9, 2012

Is the Chicago Association of Realtors fostering trademark fraud?

Real estate agents often have a long list of acronyms corresponding to “professional” designations following their names. My generally-accurate rule of thumb is: the more unrecognizable acronyms, the less competent the agent. That’s especially true as to acronyms that aren’t officially recognized or endorsed by the National Association of Realtors. Some of the designations claimed ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2012

Is it finally handcuffs time for Exchange Apartment Finders?

Handcuffs

As far back as November 2000 Exchange Apartment Finders was fined for practicing real estate without a license and ordered to obtain one. We’ve found no evidence that it ever did, but have found plenty of evidence that it has continued doing business to this day. We’ve previously written about Exchange Apartment Finders (EAF), which ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 16, 2012
ChicagoNorth Side

Living La Vida Loca at the edge of Logan Square

Springfield Vue Chicago

The developer promised Dolce Living at Springfield Vue condominiums, 1920 N Springfield at the edge of Logan Square. What I saw at the site was closer to la vida loca than la dolce vita. Six of the 8 units sold in 2008 for substantially above the original asking price. They were financed with 80% mortgages ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 10, 2012
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

From Yo’s archives – before the sun set on Sunrise’s Ponzi scheme

24 S Morgan Chicago

Five years ago our staff was breathlessly writing the following: Community is key at Pure, a 13-story high-rise slated for construction at 24 S Morgan St in the West Loop. Salman Ibrahim and Fawad Butt, chief officers of developer Sunrise Development Group, aim to bring the residents of the 75-unit building together by means both ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 4, 2012

Jay Strauss to plead guilty to defrauding condo owners

The the last time we called attention to Jay Strauss, co-owner of defunct Regent Realty Group, we noted that 3 years had passed between the time charges of theft first surfaced and his federal indictment on charges of defrauding condo owners. Nearly 10 months later Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily is reporting that Strauss has ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 13, 2011

Attorney General sues Chicago-area mortgage scammers

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed lawsuits against a number of companies and individuals involved in fraudulent loan modification and mortgage rescue schemes. Nearly five years ago I called attention to the checkered past and annoying present of Joe Aldeguer. He was one of the defendants named in the lawsuits filed by the Attorney General. ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 28, 2011

Has someone recorded a deed to your home?

Back in my long-ago days as a practicing attorney I took on a pro bono client, a very convincing elderly lady, who claimed that the previous owners were trying to cheat her out of an apartment building she’d bought. After the expenditure of a great deal of time, it became clear that she had simply ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 29, 2011